Are you happy to hear that yesterday a German radio station played ‘Edge To Life’? It was the first time I ever heard a ‘Recoil’ song on the radio. Do you think, that getting enough ‘airplay’ is important for the sale of an album? Do you also think that people get sick of a song when it’s played too often?

Yes I am happy to hear that and of course radio play is important – it’s by far the best way to get exposure to a wider audience.

Do you know ‘DoRo’, Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, the founders of this company that make documentaries about musicians? Last year they made one of DM and showed some interviews with you which looked as if they had been made after the release of ‘SOFAD’. Would you ever like to get such a documentary about Recoil?

I don’t know any of them. As for using interviews of me after the release of ‘SOFAD’, it’s possible that they used some footage from the most recent Recoil E.P.K. which I made last summer. I’d always be happy to see a good documentary of Recoil?

Is there any chance of Recoil merchandise, like T-shirts being available (even if it is only over the net). I’d just be really proud to wear a Recoil top.

I’m hoping to have some merchandise available. Keep an eye out for details.

Has ‘Unsound Methods’ been released in Japan?

Yes, it came out a few months after the European release.

If you don’t tour to support your next release, would you consider other forms of publicity such as low key DJ’ing spots (everyone from Propellerheads to Ryuchi Sakamoto have been on a DJ tour here in L.A. to support their releases lately) or in-store appearances?

Me DJ’ing? I don’t think so. It all seems a bit desperate really. “Totally toxic….. wicked guy! Strictly no jeans and trainers down at The Globe tonight…”

How do you go about appearing in Sound On Sound magazine? Did they trek you down or did you hunt them out?

They, like all the magazines, were informed of the upcoming release and requested an interview.

Was ‘Red River Cargo’ first called just ‘Red River’ or was this a mistake on the promotional CD of the album?

Definitely a mistake, apparently amongst many others, on the U.S. promo. CD.

Did you first plan to release ‘Luscious Apparatus’ instead of ‘Drifting’?

‘Luscious Apparatus’ was only ever planned as a promo. release to entice certain areas of the media.

I like the ‘scary’ photos of you in issue 62 of Future Music. Could you tell me what the liquid is flowing down from your right eyebrow – is it phlegm? And what are the strange strings that you are standing behind?

Having phlegm dribbled down my face in the name of art is way beyond the call of duty in my book…. 😉 I can assure you that the aforementioned liquid is nothing more sinister than H2o. I was pressed up against some kind of piano wire I think. This bizarre concept was the idea of a rather over-excitable Finnish fashion photographer, Per Hiemly, who got a bit carried away on the day……you should see the ones we rejected! They do have a certain atmosphere but they’re not my favourite shots.

How do you deal with the record company using the whole ex-DM angle to sell your records?

It is ludicrous to adopt (as some have done) a revisionist outlook and attempt to ignore or deny my involvement with Depeche Mode – I was a member of the band for 14 years. As a result, there seem to be many fans who are interested in Recoil because of the elements I brought to DM’s music (judging from the comments I receive) and one would expect there are more who perhaps would not come to know about Recoil except through my association with the band. For this reason alone it is perfectly acceptable to market Recoil with some kind of DM connection. What does annoy me is when it is suggested that I should be creating music just like DM or comparisons are made which are totally irrelevant – “It needs Dave Gahan’s vocals….” or “the songs aren’t as accessible as DM.” If I’d wanted to produce music like Depeche Mode, I wouldn’t have left the band……

How can I get the radio versions of Recoil’s singles?

Well they’re only made available for radio and media so I suppose you’ll need to know someone in that field.

How do I access the interview on the ‘UM’ Interview (ICDStumm159)

The interview CD is designed for radio stations who like to insert their own versions of the questions (which you can find written on the inside of the sleeve).

Are you generally happy with the reviews and comments you’ve received so far for ‘UM’, from the media and fans?

Yes. The feedback I’ve had has been very positive.

Are you happy with the sales figures of UM?

I think it’s obvious from the tone of the records, that I’m not interested in writing Top 40 pop music. Sales figures are not my primary concern. However, I do want as many people as possible to hear the music so I get annoyed when I hear that people who like Recoil either don’t know that the album exists or even worse, can’t find it in the shops.

I surely thought ‘Missing Piece’ would be the first single released off ‘UM’ due to its short, catchy nature and fabulous chorus…so what made you decide to release ‘Drifting’ instead?

The two Siobhan tracks seemed like the most radio friendly and as I didn’t hold out much hope for either of them as hit singles, I decided to release the track I preferred.

Did you do promotion in France for ‘Unsound Methods’ and if so, where?

I visited Paris for 2 days of interviews and photo sessions.

I’ve just put my hands on an advance promo copy of ‘Liquid’ and I have to say the whole affair is just fantastic – FASCINATING sense of climax. Still, 1st thought after a complete listening was that it’s probably not going to get tons of airplay. Obviously, using spoken word vocals does reinforce the non-linear feel – was that a conscious choice from the start?

As I’ve said many times, commerciality is not on my list of important criteria when making a record. If a track ends up sounding commercial, that’s ok as long as I like it.

Why in the name of all that’s holy have you left out the city of all cities, wonderful Copenhagen, on your forthcoming promo trip? Here’s a multiple-choice test.!

a: Isn’t Copenhagen a part of Sweden?

b: Because of the weather

c: I will come back later when the football league begins just to watch some decent football 🙂

d: There’s not a decent radio programme in DK that plays my kind of music – only snobby and self-obsessed DJ’s on Denmark’s Radio programme 3.

(I would go for d)

Where I go depends mainly on how many journalists are eager for an interview and basically whether there is enough interest to justify the expense of flying to and staying in a particular city. It’s entirely possible that there aren’t many Danish journalists who are interested or those that are, are prepared to travel to Stockholm or Oslo.

I’ve never seen the videos for ‘Drifting’ and ‘Stalker’. Have music stations like MCM, VIVA or MTV ever played them?

Possibly once or twice – you need to check out the more alternative channels like M2 if you want to hear anything other than Mariah Carey or Steps.

Is it planned to release ‘Liquid’ on Vinyl?

In the UK yes. I don’t know about Germany but you could always order it direct from Mute via mail order.

Are you asked to do interviews by press / tv / radio people or do you organise it on your own? I ask this because it would be really great to see / hear you in Poland.

Firstly, we tell all the foreign licensees that a new LP is ready and then ask them when they would prefer to set up some interviews so that the timing is optimum for the release. They alert the radio, TV and media people to see who is interested and we all decide which are the most important and beneficial to the project. When they have all responded, Mute international set up a tour. I also do a lot of ‘phone interviews from England.

Do you have any control over what’s released on promotional records or does Mute respective licensees simply pick out some tracks of the new material?

You have to put yourself pretty much in the hands of the licensees because they tend to know what is best for their territory.

I fear the British sense of Political Correctness, i.e., during the Gulf war Massive Attack turned into Massive only. What about Recoil? Could you be banned from radio airplay?

I’m already banned from radio airplay because Recoil apparently means ‘That techno-spod from old has-beens Depeche Mode, who writes everything in a minor key and doesn’t sound like Robbie Williams’ 😉

Reprise was awful at distributing your CD.

They’re weren’t that good….

They sent 1 copy (if only) to each store which was sometimes not even categorised by Recoil (sometimes it was in DM or in Electronica Misc). I just don’t want to be screwed again when the next album comes out. Also what’s interesting is that my friend bought his CD which was CLEAR, with no writing on the actual disc. Is there anyone I can address this matter to at Reprise?

The category thing is not necessarily Reprises’ problem. Indeed, it could be argued that those are better places to initially place the records. The shops themselves usually make those decisions. They are also responsible for how many copies they order and they don’t like to take risks (they might get left with unsold stock). The problem is that Reprise didn’t spend any money on promotion or create any vibe about the record in the first place. Consequently, nobody was anticipating it, the shops didn’t order and so the vicious circle is in place – you can’t get shops to order records if people don’t buy them but you can’t sell records in the first place if they’re not in the shops. (We have the same problem in England). I don’t really know who would be personally responsible at Reprise for matters such as these. As I’ve said, Recoil is difficult for them. It doesn’t fit nicely into a bag. They obviously took a view that they weren’t prepared to work ‘UM’ but instead would just throw it out there.

Did you know that Intercord released a small amount of wrongly pressed ‘Drifting’ CD Singles (‘Drifting’ tracks together with the 2nd Spice Girls Album)? I think Paris would love this combination 🙂

No I didn’t know this. Could be very shrewd marketing? When two become one, I suppose.

Do you have any particular beef or gripe regarding Reprise here in the States? It seems to most DM and Recoil fans that they’re always botching release dates, never giving proper publicity / airplay or really any substantial promotion. I know DM and Recoil have never really done full media blitzes here and I was just wondering if that had been on your part or just Reprise “dropping the ball”?

The efforts of Reprise on the last Recoil LP were disappointing to me for many reasons – some of which I’ve already talked about in this Forum. I was ready and willing to do lots of promotion in the U.S. – they came up with three telephone interviews with technical magazines. I don’t say it’s an easy job to promote Recoil but I would have appreciated an attempt.

When I went to London in late September to catch DM in concert, I finally got my hands on the ‘Stalker’ CD. It has been impossible to get anywhere else and I was wondering if you will get a better distribution deal for your next Recoil release?

Unfortunately, my deal with Mute means that I am bound by their licensing agreements with each individual European label. Mute usually sells it’s entire catalogue (all it’s artists) to a sub-label. In this case, I think the reason you had problems is because not all countries were interested in releasing a second single from ‘Unsound Methods’.

As a general comment, one of the drawbacks for many artists on Mute is that some foreign labels bid for the entire Mute roster purely in order to be able to licence the DM catalogue. Unfortunately, their agenda only becomes clear after the deal is done with some of them showing little interest in trying to sell the ‘more difficult’ artists on Mute.